Monthly Archives: December 2008

A Simple Recipe For Accessing Twitter From Ruby

I wanted to play with accessing Twitter via their REST API and there are several Ruby libraries to do that. I picked one that said it had full support (Twitter4r) and tried it out.

First install the Ruby gem for Twitter4r:

sudo gem install twitter4r

or on Windows:

gem install -–version 1.1.1 json

gem install twitter4r

Then you can access it with a little chunk of code as simple as this:

gem('twitter4r', '0.3.0')
client = => 'your Twitter username', :password => 'your Twitter password')
timeline = client.timeline_for(:me)
timeline.each do |status|
puts status.user.screen_name, status.text

When I ran that, out popped the last 20 tweets I had done.

Mac Software Christmas Bundles

It seems like everybody is doing Mac software bundles for Christmas. macZOT has this one running right now where you get 11 apps for $60. MacHeist just finished their Mac Giving Tree where they handed out a few apps for free and promoted some deals on inexpensive iPhone apps.
But if you’re still fairly new to the Mac, there’s a good chance that there’s excellent free software that you might not yet have downloaded and installed (or which you might like to bundle up as a gift for another new Mac owner). The Apple Blog put together a disk image plus lists of excellent software you could download and use to make a bundle of your own. I can definitely get behind some of their recommendations including VirtualBox (which just recently was upgraded to version 2.1 and handles running Ubuntu very nicely for me), Growl, HandBrake, Transmission, Adium, Firefox, OpenOffice, etc.
One app they missed though was Celestia. They do recommend Stellarium, but for me, the latest version of Celestia and its ability to take you on a high speed trip to anywhere in or out of our solar system is just amazing. Moving out to just outside the orbit of Ganymede and watching the inner moons zip back and forth around Jupiter when I speed up the simulation is just haunting.

Create A PBBG In Two Months Results

The contest to create a complete PBBG in two months has concluded and unfortunately Big Villain is just not ready yet. It’s a shame it wasn’t ready in time, but after about a month I was already getting pretty doubtful. It’s just too big a game for me to complete by myself in that timeframe with all the other stuff I have to do in my life. Nevertheless I’ve had a ton of fun working on it and absolutely nothing is going to stop me from completing it. I was working on the design of the site just last night to try and get it to something that doesn’t make your eyes bleed when you look at it. Hopefully by next week I’ll have accomplished that.

Anyway, some people did finish their games in the allotted time. Here are the final entries (though I’m not sure you can get into all of them yet, I think some authors were only planning on letting in the judges at this point):

I’m planning to take a look at each one I can and see what others were able to accomplish since October 11th when the contest started. I’m alternately impressed and disappointed with what I myself was able to accomplish in the same period of time. I figure I’ve got at least another six weeks or so of part time work before I’ll be ready for a beta of my game.

Get Blog

The documentary filmmaker who made BBS: The Documentary a few years ago about the BBS culture is making a new documentary about classic adventure games like Zork, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, etc. It’s called Get Lamp and after I heard about it a long time ago I periodically remembered to go to its website only to find that nothing had happened. I figured that it was a promising project that would never get finished.

But just recently the author started up a blog called Taking Inventory to say, “Hey, my project really isn’t dead. Look, I’m working actively on it!” Some of the recent postings show some awesome photos of the research material Jason Scott has gleaned for this documentary including tons of material about Infocom and even scans of an original manual for Zork on the PDP-11.

If the topic interests you, start tracking the RSS feed for this blog. I look forward to seeing the final product.